When 20-year-old Matthew Leveson failed to return home after a night out clubbing in Sydney, his loved ones were worried sick. Matty was a trustworthy, warm, and caring young man who adored his friends and family, not the type of person who would just take off without a word. Suspicion soon fell on Matt’s partner, 45-year-old Michael Atkins, after it was revealed that the pair were fighting on the night of Matt’s disappearance. But was that unfortunate timing, or did Atkins have something to hide?
Matty is the latest podcast from Casefile Presents, a 10-part series narrated by Loren O’Keeffe from The Missed Foundation (formerly known as MPAN – Missing Persons Advocacy Network). Join Loren as she documents the decade-long struggle faced by Matt’s parents, Mark and Faye, who refused to give up on their son. We go behind the headlines for an exclusive insight into how the investigation unfolded, exploring the failures of law enforcement, and the ongoing obstacles faced by the Levesons. At the heart of it all lies the question: how far would you go to bring your loved one home?
EPISODE 1: Matthew Leveson
For nearly a decade, Loren O’Keeffe founder of MPAN – the Missing Persons Advocacy Network – watched Mark and Faye Leveson’s tireless search for their missing son Matthew, who had his whole life ahead of him until he began dating the wrong man…
EPISODE 2: Matt is Missing
On Saturday 22 September 2007, Matt and his much older partner Michael Atkins went clubbing. After that night, Matt vanished, and his family began a frantic search. Atkins was strangely unhelpful until Mark and Faye forced him to go to the police.
EPISODE 3: Atkins a Suspect
When police found Matt’s abandoned car and a Bunnings receipt for duct tape and a mattock purchased on the day Matt went missing, suspicion fell on Atkins. A search of his home was videotaped which meant important evidence was captured on film.
EPISODE 4: The Criminal Trial
Mark and Faye Leveson became disillusioned with the police, but finally Atkins was charged with Matt’s disappearance.
EPISODE 5: Intervening Years
When Michael Atkins walked away from court a free man, the Levesons were left in limbo because Matt was still missing. They kept up the search themselves, even buying a mattock like Atkins did, and digging in areas he could have buried Matt.
EPISODE 6: Inquest is Reopened
Gary Jubelin took over the case, but the wheels of justice turn slowly; Matt had been gone for over eight years by the time the inquest began. It was then that the Levesons were offered a ‘deal with the devil’.: find Matt but Atkins goes free.
EPISODE 7: Atkins’ Testimony
Under the protection of a Section 61 Certificate, which meant any evidence he gave couldn’t be used against him, Atkins told the court his version of the events the night Matt died. The most important question for the Levesons was: where’s Matt?
EPISODE 8: Search for Matt
When Atkins revealed Matt’s burial site, Mark & Faye Leveson joined the search for their son’s remains in the Royal National Park in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire. In a dramatic moment right at the end of the third and final excavation, a bone was found.
EPISODE 9: After the Inquest
Court watchers, fair-weather friends, and dealing with the media, the Levesons experienced it all. When tragedies like Matt’s disappearance strike families, most are ill-equipped to deal with the aftermath. What have they learnt about justice?
EPISODE 10: Coping to this Day
Families must go on after loss. For Mark and Faye Leveson, the journey to find Matt and give him a proper funeral was long and heartbreaking. Loren and the Levesons talk about how they both coped on their respective journeys.